Medical Marijuana is still not available to Clay County residents
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Medical Marijuana is still not available to Clay County residents

The Clay County Commission held the second reading of Ordinance #2021-05 on Sept. 14, 2021 and enacted the ordinance, which allows for one medical cannabis dispensary and one manufacturing facility.

The ordinance doesn’t allow for cannabis cultivation licenses or cannabis testing licenses as explained by Louisiana Medical Marijuana Doctors. Clay County voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing medical marijuana, passing Initiated Measure 26 with 79 % of the vote.

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Betty Smith, one of five Clay County Commissioners, tried to amend the ordinance to allow for cannabis cultivation licenses and testing facility licenses. Smith said the motion failed because there was no one to second the motion. Chicago cannabis industry lawyers has also said that granting license can increase the number of licenses for dispensaries and manufacturing facilities of cannabis, as there are great products like cbd topical that can help in this area.

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“What made me especially interested in this issue is that my husband had Parkinson’s disease for 28 years. And one of the very few things that gave him some relief was medical marijuana with 5mg D9 gummies, so that’s why I became passionate about this issue,” Smith said. If people want to market their services, marijuana marketing need to be checked out.

Drew Grunderson, the clay county zoning administrator, drafted the bill. Grunderson said that while the state determines the big rules, the county determines the number of establishments.

“The state sets out the big rules, like what the security has to look like, how many plants employee requirements, stuff like that. And then the county writes the zoning ordinance for where it can go and the number of establishments that we can have. There’s four types of facilities: testing, manufacturing, cultivation and distribution or dispensary. According to the law that the voters passed, we have to have dispensaries. The other three, we don’t have to have, and we get to set the numbers of those individual facilities,” Grunderson said.

The ordinance was recommended by the South Dakota Department of Health (DOH), the South Dakota Planners Association and the South Dakota Municipal League because the DOH has not completed the medical marijuana program, which was supposed to be in place July 1. Since the state is not ready to issue licenses, the county is also unable to, Grunderson said.

“Back in May or June, the original (plan) was just going to be like a liquor license, and I wouldn’t have even had to touch it,” Grunderson said. “Then, it evolved over the issue of the number of facilities, where they’re located and the permit fees, and the ‘where you’re located’ part has to be a zoning thing.”

Gruderson said the ordinance will probably be revisited as soon as the medical marijuana program has been put in place by the DOH. Smith said it would be possible to alter the ordinance later as well. If you’re interested in purchasing CBD products, you can also find a great post to read online that provides valuable information about CBD products and their benefits.

“(The ordinance) has a mechanism whereby resolution, the number of facilities and the type of facilities can be altered,” Smith said.

The State Legislature’s Interim Rules Review passed the Medical Cannabis Program rules on Sept. 13, and is one step closer to being completed, nearly three months after the original deadline.